The original nine holes at Secret Harbour (“The “Links”) were unveiled in 1995 and they were joined four years later by a new front nine circuit called “The Dunes.” Laid out by Graham Marsh, the 18-hole Secret Harbour course was inaugurated with an exhibition game involving its designer, Lee Trevino and Gary Player. The facility later changed its name to Secrets and then switched its moniker back to Secret Harbour Golf Links.
Despite course marketing which talks of holes that “lie breathtakingly against the panoramic setting of the vast Indian Ocean,” the reality is that only glimpses of a rather elusive body of water can be seen through housing developments that flank either side of many fairways – not that the residential aspects of the estate seriously impinge on the course, far from it.
The loveliest hole on what's been described as an “undulating dunescape of a front nine” is the short par three 8th where an aquatic element is brought into play for the first time in the round. The green lies adjacent to a lake and the tee shot must carry all the way to a green surrounded by pot bunkers and thick grass.
On a more gently rolling back nine, the par four 5th is a real beast. The fairway is tough to find from the tee as it’s divided in the middle by an island of scrub so placement of the drive is crucial. The putting surface is surrounded by deep pot bunkers with water to the left and behind so a four on the card here is a great score.
"Secrets" (I hope the club didn't waste too much money on that marketing gumph) is not a seaside links as the former name, Secret Harbour Golf Links suggests, but is set on sand (as it would appear is most of south-western Western Australia) and some dunes 1Km from the beach. It has some parkland, some linksland and some resort course elements, but the way the ball and clubs interact with the turf, this is definitely a parkland course. Maybe with the completion of housing around the course it is more resort like than the others. The ocean views are glimpses at best.
Although a well kept and upmarket resort style, I found too many of the holes are samish with a look and feel alike. The back nine has completed massive development works and the area has most of the holes wind through a standard suburban housing development. The front nine has a little more bushland and the housing is less intrusive, making it more interesting.
The course is located in an area south of Perth known as the 'golf coast' and unfortunately for this club, in the local area I'd rank The Cut, Kennedy Bay and Meadow Springs well ahead, then this course and finally Mandurah GC. However, if you've got a week to spend around Mandurah and the golf coast, good luck to you and play them all (actually, play The Cut and Kennedy Bay twice, before playing here). Mandurah also makes a nice place to stay, especially if you're within walking distance of Oceans Bar & Grill.
3.5 gusting 4 balls for this one.
A links course in Western Australia? Yes there is 2 of them! ok so there is some water on this track.
Secret Harbour starts off fairly tame, but the middle section of the round can be more challenging.
The course is undulating and very easy to walk.
I have only hit the green of a par 5 in 2 shots once, and this occurred here at S.H.
Great holes here are the par 4 8th with water carry, and the par 3 17th again with water carry!